For a computer user, nothing is more frightening and stressful than having your device infected with a virus. Apart from displaying errors and causing all sorts of issues, viruses can damage your data and compromise your security. To make matters worse, they are pretty good at hiding themselves and running quietly in the background, so much so that sometimes users are not aware that their device is infected until several months after the fact.
In this post, we will provide detailed instructions regarding how to quickly and efficiently detect a computer virus and, more importantly, how to ensure your PC remains adequately protected against them in the future.
Why It Is Crucial You Protect Your Computer Against a Virus
Computer viruses cause widespread destruction, leading to great amounts of not only data loss but also potential financial loss. To put things into perspective, consider this data: Cyber-crime is expected to cost no less than 8 Trillion Dollars annually in 2023, according a report.
Computer Viruses Come in Different Flavors
There are different types of computer viruses out there, some more dangerous and sophisticated than others. The following are widely regarded as the major types of computer virus.
These viruses get their name from their habit of launching themselves up every time you boot your computer. Boot viruses are rarely easy to deal with and getting your computer free of them can be a difficult task.
Time Bomb Virus
These viruses can be particularly difficult to detect simply because they don’t take effect until a predetermined date and time – hence the name “time bomb” virus.
When it comes to sophistication, worm viruses lead the pack. They work by replicating themselves automatically. A worm virus’s main goal is to ensure it gets distributed as widely as possible.
How To Find Out If Your Computer is Infected with a virus
How can you be 100% sure your computer is infected with virus? Unless your computer is infected by a crude variety of computer viruses, identifying them without running an advanced antivirus program can be challenging.
Sometimes, you may find a message like the one shown below displayed on your screen. If you do, you can be sure that your device is infected.
Other common tell-tale signs include getting frequent screen pop-ups suddenly or getting sent to an incorrect website when browsing. Apart from these, the following signs indicate that your PC might be infected with a computer virus.
Flashing warnings and slow performance
Has your PC suddenly become a lot slower? If so, there’s a good chance it is infected. Likewise, if you are getting random warning messages on your computer, you are likely have a computer virus. Typically, these messages either say that your PC is infected or your data has been stolen or ask for money to restore your data.
Unexplained file or folder changes
If some files have gone missing or some files are showing different icons, you are likely have a computer virus. Your computer will not make these changes on its own, unless there’s a technical problem or problems from a malware program.
Not able to download antivirus programs or updates for such programs
Some computer viruses are programmed in such a way to maximize their chances of going undetected. Often such viruses are programmed to make it difficult for the average user to download a new antivirus program or download updates for an existing antivirus program. If you are unable to download updates for your antivirus program or are trying to download some new security software without success, your PC is likely infected and that virus is likely defending itself.
Pop up ads for websites you don’t visit
If you are getting pop-up ads for websites you generally don’t visit, chances are you have a computer virus. Another sign is the appearance of unexpected images on your screen. For instance, you might see pornographic images replace benign images or suddenly pop up on your screen.
Sudden shortage of hard disk space
Are you suddenly facing lack of space on your hard disk? If so, your PC might have self-replicating worms or viruses, which also go by the name of disk bombs. These malicious programs can create problems by quickly multiplying themselves, rapidly occupying increasing amounts of hard disk space. Frequently, these files the virus injects in your hard drive stay invisible in default file-browsing settings.
My Computer Has A Virus? What Should I Do?
If you believe your PC is infected with a virus, act promptly to remove it. Being infected with virus can be frustrating and very worrying. But there’s no need for you to panic, as we provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to remove computer viruses.
Run a full-system scan
The first thing you should do if you suspect your PC is infected to run a full-system scan. Before you do so, it would be best to update your antivirus software if you have disabled the automatic updates feature. Also, once you have got rid of the virus, make sure you run full-system scans on a regular basis.
Restore to an earlier back-up
Sometimes, infected or virus files are able to avoid deletion. If that’s the case, try to restore the system to an earlier back-up before the present issue came to light. Once you have done that, run a full-system scan to see whether the same issue persists.
Delete temporary files
The next step is to delete temporary files. Doing so is fairly easy, though the exact steps vary depending on which operating system you use (such as macOS or Windows).
Use the Safe Mode feature
If you are unable to delete temporary files, try to boot Windows in Safe Mode. Since in this mode certain programs are not loaded, you can fix the problem without any interruption.
Reinstall your operating system
Try this solution only if everything else fails. Keep in mind that reinstalling the operating system can result in the loss of important data. For this reason, it might be better to visit the local computer repair shop and have a trained professional do the necessary rather than taking matters in your hand.
Outdated Device Drivers Can Be A Security Risk
Hackers often use flaws in outdated device drivers to inject viruses (or other malware) that can go undetected or resist deletion, even after you reinstall Windows. For this reason, it is important that you regularly update your device drivers.
Apart from being a security risk, outdated device drivers can lead to frequent software and hardware conflicts, causing malfunctions and errors. They can also impact your PC’s performance.
Updating outdated device drivers is very important. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to keep your device drivers updated. The easiest and quickest way is to use a reliable device driver tool. Of course, you can also update device drivers manually, but the manual method might not suit everyone as it requires a certain degree of technical knowledge and is time consuming.
For this reason, we recommend Windows users to use an advanced driver update tool to keep their device drivers up-to-date.
Updating Drivers Automatically
Automatic driver update tools offer many benefits, the most important ones being:
- You can update device drivers automatically
- The software scans and updates all outdated or missing drivers at one go
- The tool picks the right drivers for your device and operating system, so you won’t have to worry about installing an incorrect driver by mistake
- Automatic driver updates are 100% safe
Driver Updater is one of the best driver update tools out there. Outbyte Driver Updater will give you access to a database of over 1 million drivers. It will regularly scan your PC, suggesting new driver versions to install. Driver Updater contains drivers for a variety of Windows devices. With just one click, you can update drivers in your system.
Scan all devices
Install or update drivers automatically